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ELECTRONIC VERSION

To order a print copy go to


www.macgyverbook.com
ELECTRONIC VERSION
To order a print copy go to
www.macgyverbook.com
The Unofficial MacGyver
How-to Handbook:
Actual Working Tricks as Seen on TV’s
MacGyver

Revised 2nd Edition

Bret Terrill
and
Greg Dierkers

Illustrated by Patience Gallegos

Cover Design by Timothy Thul


The Unofficial MacGyver How-To Handbook
Copyright © DECEMBER 2005 by Bret Terrill.
ISBN 1-887641-47-5
Published by American International Press. All rights
reserved.
www.aipbooks.com
We’d like to thank Bret’s dad whose Tivo©
and love of MacGyver made this book possible.
So blame him.
 Chapter List

Chapter I: Great Escapes


Keep Your Cool: Escape from a Meat Locker

Take That, Indy: Escape from a Pit of Snakes

The Amazing MacGyver: Escape from a Straitjacket

while Trapped Underwater

Escape from an Incinerator

Escape a Pack of Hunting Dogs

Escape from the Basement of a Collapsed Building

Escape from Being Blown to Kibbles and Bits

Chapter II: Car Troubles


Make a Stick-Shift Car Drive Itself

Repair a Busted Brake Line While in a Moving Car

Fake a Flat Tire

Recharge a Car Battery with a Bottle of Wine

Lift Your Car with a Innertube

Repair a Broken Fuel Line with a Ballpoint Pen

A MacGyver Classic: Make an Arcwelder from a Car

Battery and Pocket Change


Chapter List 

Chapter III: Angus Macgyver: Superspy/

Chemistry Teacher
Make a Fire Extinguisher with the Contents of Your

Kitchen Cabinet

stop an Acid Leak with a Chocolate Bar

Read the Contents of a Burned Sheet of Paper

Make Your Own Homemade Tear Gas

Make a Homemade Spectroscope

Create Your Own Homemade Fog

Develop Photos with Battery Acid, Ammonia, and

Orange Juice

Power a Radio with a Cactus

Use a Photographic Fixer as an Antidote and an Icepack


 Chapter List

Chapter IV: Breaking and Entering (use only


for good, not for evil)
Crack a Safe with a Telephone Handset

Fool a Thumbprint Reader with Wax and Pool Chalk

Hotwire a Phone to Listen to a Call in another Room

Fool a Motion Detector with Only a Light Bulb

Bypass a Keypad Security Lock with a Pencil

Disarm a Laser Beam Alarm System

Fool a Motion Detector with Chemistry

Pick a Lock with a Swiss Army Knife

Break Into a Building the Cool Way

Chapter V: Party Tricks and Diversions


Undress a Woman with a Paper Clip and Thread

Win Yahtzee Every Time: Make Buffed Dice

Make a Lie Detector with a Blood Pressure Cuff and an

Alarm Clock

Make Fake Blood with Drain Cleaner

Make a Soda Machine Shoot Soda Cans


Chapter List 

Knock Out the Lights with Window Cleaner

Create a Magnet with a Iron Bar and a Fire Hydrant

Escape from a Boring Dinner Party

Chapter VI: Bombs and Booby-traps


Make a Timebomb with a Glass of Water, a Cold

Capsule, and Sodium Metal

Watch out Yogi Bear: Build Pinecone Landmines

Fend off Thugs with a Fire Hose: A Humorous

MacGyver Classic

Make your Kitchen into a Death Trap!

Disarm a Missile with a Paperclip

Appendix: The Complete List of MacGyver’s

Cool Tricks (a.k.a. MacGyverisms)


Introduction

Who wouldn’t want to be a little bit more like

MacGyver? Smart and handsome, MacGyver led a

life of excitement and adventure. Yet this is not why

millions of Americans still find him intriguing today.

No, it’s because he could make a bomb out of household

cleaning supplies.

In the seven years MacGyver was on the air, he

managed to handle any predicament using intelligence,

ingenuity, and a pocketknife. Most of his amazing

tricks followed from the principles taught in high

school science classes. While you might not be as

resourceful as MacGyver in a pinch, by following the

instructions in this book you can perform many of

MacGyver’s feats.
Introduction

Here at the Rogues Inc. Labs we’ve always fancied

ourselves to be like TV’s MacGyver: brainy, resourceful,

and easy on the eyes. We have Swiss Army Knives,

personal supplies of duct tape, and cool mullet haircuts.

And, we too, never manage to score, even with plenty

of lovely ladies around. Imagine our excitement when

our lord and master, Rogue captain Dean Moriarty,

demanded that we recreate MacGyver’s tricks to see

if they would actually work. After a two-hour lunch,

we eagerly prepared ourselves for a trial test of Mac’s

tricks.

First, we emptied the cafeteria cabinets at Rogues

Inc. of all the common household supplies we could

find. We then set to work creating arc welders, smoke


bombs, and lie detectors.
Introduction

Next, we rounded up some of the Rogues Inc. interns

to recreate some of MacGyver’s great escapes. We can

still see the look on Etienne’s face when we doused

him with kerosene and tossed him into a pit of snakes.

We probably should have warned him first. But as we

testified in court: was it our fault he only understood

French?

Fortunately, the kerosene trick worked with the snakes.

In retrospect, we should have waited until Etienne

was cleaned off before we tested out the cold capsule

explosive trick. Lesson learned.

Some of MacGyver’s tricks can be dangerous. Be

careful and have fun. And please, don’t get a mullet.


Top Eight Rope-Removal Tools

1. Scroll saw (101 LOST AMADEUS)


2. Slimy toy goo (109 THE WALL)
3. Belt hook (112 MACGYVER’S WOMEN)
4. Metal grinder (121 BLIND FAITH)
5. Fish teeth (086 BLACK CORSAGE)
6. Sulfuric acid (130 THE COLTONS)
7. Broken glass (119 HIGH CONTROL)
8. Wine (058 THE ODD TRIPLE)
Great Escapes
16 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

How to Escape From a Meat


Locker
As Seen in Episode: 007 - Last Stand. MacGyver stumbles
into a hostage crisis at a desert airstrip that armored-car
robbers have taken over.

What You Need

A meat locker
A clumsy friend
A cardboard box

What You Do

1. Enter the meat locker, followed closely by your


clumsy friend.

2. Scream “No!” as your clumsy friend accidentally


closes the locker door.

3. Sit on the cardboard box and discuss the meaning


of life.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 17

4. Look upward and curse God for giving you such a


stupid, clumsy friend.

5. Note light bulb. Eureka!

6. Detach a meat hook from the bar hanging above


you.
18 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

7. Use the eyehole


of the meathook
to unscrew the
bolts around the
doorknob.

8. Remove the door


knob.

9. Rip a strip of cardboard from the box.

10. Fold the cardboard strip into a funnel shape.

11. Jam cardboard strip in the knob hole.


Chapter 1: Great Escapes 19

12. Pull a long pipe or bar from off the ceiling. The bar
or pipe with be anchoring the meathooks.

13. Insert the end of the pipe or bar into the cardboard
funnel. Hold the other end underneath the
lightbulb.

14. Grab a chunk of ice.

15. Use the lightbulb to melt the ice so that it runs down
the pipe or bar into the hole in the door.

16. Watch as the water from the melting ice flows into
the door lock.

17. Wait as the water refreezes in the door lock causing


it to break.

18. Kick open the door.

19. Escape to freedom and remind yourself to stop


hanging out with sitcom characters.

20. Congratulate yourself on getting the sitcom


character joke.
20 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

Why It Works

Water is the only substance that expands when cooled.


When it freezes, the molecules form a solid structure.
The freezing water exerts outward force on the lock
mechanism causing it to break. Once the lock breaks,
a good kick will open the door.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 21

How to Escape from a Pit of


Snakes
As Seen in Episode: 089 - Halloween Knights.
MacGyver’s old nemesis, Murdoc, asks for his help
in locating his sister, an innocent bystander that was
kidnapped by Murdoc’s employers, a cartel of assassins-
for-hire.

What You Will Need

Kerosene lamp
An entertainment lawyer

What You Do

1. Open the kerosene lamp (battery-operated


flashlights are so 1985) that you were using to
navigate the underground tunnel.

2. Dump some of the kerosene around the ground area


that you wish to be snake-free, being careful not to
inhale the kerosene fumes.
22 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

3. Liberally splash more of the kerosene on your


boots and pants so those slimy snakes avoid you
altogether. A few dots behind the ears and you’re
ready to go clubbin’ with Murdoc.

4. Contact your entertainment lawyer and hope


that Indiana Jones doesn’t sue you for theft of
intellectual property rights.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 23

Why It Works

The odor of kerosene repels snakes and for good reason.


Kerosene is a natural degreaser. Snakes are covered
with a fine coating of oil. Kerosene would suck dry
the snake’s body oil, which probably feels the same
as if someone poured hydrochloric acid on your hand.
Not very pleasant. So when a snake smells kerosene,
or more accurately tastes—a snake breathes with its
tongue—they slither in the other direction. No word
on kerosene’s ability to tame a wild mullet.

24 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

How to Escape from a Straitjacket


while Trapped Underwater
As Seen in Episode: 093 - Two Times Trouble. MacGyver
tries to help an old friend who believes her jealous twin
sister is trying to kill her.

What You Need

A straitjacket
A water tank (fish optional)
A diabolical archenemy

What You Do

1. Have your diabolical archenemy bind you in a


straitjacket. Don’t worry; if he’s diabolical enough
he’ll have a straitjacket lying around his evil lair.

2. Exchange witty banter with your archenemy as he
throws you in an empty water tank.

3. As water floods the tank, anxiously look around.


How will you get out of this one?
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 25

4. Go to commercial break. When you return from


commercial break, note that the water that was
once lapping up around your neck has returned to
knee level.

5. Struggle helplessly as the water climbs above your


head.

6. Swim towards the floodlight that is oddly present


in the water tank.
26 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

7. Kick the floodlight, shattering its bulb. (Didn’t see


that coming, didya?)

8. Rub your bound wrists against broken glass until it


cuts through the straitjacket.

9. Wriggle out of the straitjacket.

10. Turn enormous wheel on the water tank door to


open it.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 27

11. Once the door opens, let the water pour you out
into the hallway.

12. Take a deep breath.

13. Curse your archenemy who didn’t even wait around


to see you die. Sometimes it feels like he doesn’t
care about you at all.

Why It Works

It happened on TV. This scenario is one of those rare


incidents on MacGyver where fiction bears little or
no relation to fact. Who can swim with a straitjacket
on? Who puts floodlights in water tanks designed for
killing do-gooders?
28 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

How to Escape From an


Incinerator
As Seen in Episode: 116 - Squeeze Play. Mac defends a
former player’s daughter being blackmailed by a baseball
memorabilia-counterfeiting ring trading on her father’s
name.

What You Need

An incinerator (with a glass window)


A metal rod
A piece of thread

What You Do

1. Fall asleep in a pile of scrap metal. Author’s note:


if you have trouble falling asleep in the scrap heap,
we recommend a little Jack Daniels in a snifter.
Keep drinking until you pass out.

2. Wake up to discover yourself in an incinerator.


Chapter 1: Great Escapes 29

3. Grab a metal rod from the scrap metal in the


incinerator.

4. Smash the incinerator’s window with the rod.

5. Use the rod to push the incinerator’s lever to OFF.

6. Breathe a sigh of relief.

7. Pull a long piece of thread off your shirt.

8. Tie the thread in a loop.


30 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

9. Hang the thread on the end of the rod.

10. Fish with the rod and thread until you snag the
incinerator latch.

11. Unlatch the incinerator door and open the door.

12. Escape the incinerator and curse your damn


narcolepsy/drinking problem.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 31

Why It Works

Definitely do not try this one at home. Odds are that


you will be a pile of burnt toast before you will be able
to shatter the window with a metal rod. Just another
reminder that MacGyver wasn’t just smart; he was also
a television character.
32 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

How to Escape from a Pack of


Dogs
As Seen in Episode: 103 - Rush to Judgment. MacGyver
risks judicial displeasure when he breaks jury sequester
to investigate the scene of a racially charged murder, and
discovers evidence that drastically alters the interpretation
of the facts.

What You Need

A ravenous pack of hunting dogs


A bottle of perfume
A mannequin
An evil shopping mall

What You Do

1. Go to the nearest evil shopping mall to look for a


gift for Pete’s birthday.

2. Run! It’s a trap. Guard dogs are on your trail.


Chapter 1: Great Escapes 33

3. Take the bottle of perfume you bought for Pete and


spill it all over the floor. The odor of the perfume
will cover your scent.

4. Run to the nearest clothing store.

5. Undress a mannequin. Pray that it’s Kim Cattrall.

6. Take off your clothes.


34 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

7. Exchange your clothes with the mannequin.

8. Dress the mannequin in your clothes. Doesn’t it


look stylish in that flannel shirt and brown leather
jacket? Now, the dogs will follow your scent to the
mannequin and think it’s you. Silly dogs.

9. Sneak out the exit.

10. Wait outside for the chopper that will inevitably


come to your rescue just when you need it.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 35

Why It Works

A dog may have a great sense of smell, but it is also


really stupid.

Dumping the perfume effectively creates a very


powerful odor temporarily masking the equally
powerful scent of the human body. Unless you are
an Eastern European man, in which case nothing will
cover up your stench, oops, scent.

Fortunately, Fido and his friends can’t immediately tell


if the mannequin is you or not. After all, it smells like
you, it’s vaguely shaped like you, therefore it must be
you.
36 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

How to Escape From Beneath a


Collapsed Beam
As Seen in Episode: 001 – Pilot. Mac is asked to rescue
scientists in an underground lab guarded by a deadly
security system.

What You Need

A working firehose
A collapsed beam
A person, trapped under the beam, with only
minor physical injuries

What You Do

1. Tie a knot in the end of the hose.

2. Thread the hose underneath the collapsed beam.

3. Turn on the water.

4. Watch as the water inflates the hose and lifts the


beam.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 37

5. Watch the slightly injured friend wince in pain as


you pull her to safety.

6. Cross your fingers and hope that your friend will


“reward” you after a few drinks in the Phoenix
Foundation’s wet bar.
38 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

Why It Works

The knot in the firehose prevents the water from being


released. Because it cannot be released, the water
pushes outward on the hose and causes the hose to
bulge. The pressure of the water should be enough
to lift an obstacle lying on top of the hose, even a
construction beam. Water pressure inside a firehose
typically ranges from about 300 to 1200 pounds per
square inch (PSI).

However, you are limited by the diameter of the hose,


so you can only lift something a couple of inches. So
guys, when all you need is an extra couple of inches, a
firehose can be your best friend.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 39

How to Escape from Being Blown to


Kibbles and Bits
As Seen in Episode: 130 - The Coltons. Mac’s old friends,
the bounty-hunting Colton brothers try to find a young
woman who’s the only witness to a Chinatown murder.

What You Need

Sulfuric Acid (WARNING: VERY DANGEROUS


TO TOUCH, BREATHE, OR MOCK IN POLITE
COMPANY)
A cardboard tube
A ruler
A bomb
A super-intelligent trained dog that will appear
whenever you’re about to be blown to bits (we suggest
Lassie)
A cookie

What You Do

1. Set timer on the bomb to five minutes. Anything


higher will dampen the suspense.
40 Chapter 1: Great Escapes

2. Tie your hands behind your back. Make sure the


knot is tight. You don’t want to escape too easily.

3. Wait for the dog to arrive.

4. Tell the dog to bring you the bottle of sulfuric acid


you placed just out of reach. Good for you, challenge
is important to character development.

5. Kick a ruler off a nearby table.

6. Watch the ruler flip through the air and land on a


cardboard tube. Wow! The rule is perfectly centered
on the tube. Now you can use it as a seesaw to fling the
bottle up to your hands.

7. Tell the dog to put the bottle of acid on the far end of
the ruler. At first he’ll pretend not to understand, but
don’t worry, he’s just being smart. He understands that
he needs to create suspense for the audience.

8. Stomp on the near end of the ruler to make the bottle


fly through the air, arcing behind you into your bound
hands.
Chapter 1: Great Escapes 41

9. Fantasize about all those amazing slapshots you


would have made if you’d only gone into professional
hockey instead of problem solving.

10. Open the bottle and let the acid pour onto the
rope.

11. Wait as the acid melts through the rope and not
through your hands.

12. Break the ropes and run.

13. Give the cookie to the dog. He deserves it.

Why It Works

It’s the Lassie gene. Dogs that are on television shows


all share a specialized gene that allow them to act as
obvious plot devices while allowing the audience to
suspend disbelief. And they’re cute as well, though we
attribute this largely to makeup. Rumor is that the dogs
are bred in a special compound in Burbank, California
by a team of Hollywood writers using frozen sperm
salvaged from Lassie himself. Yep, Lassie was a boy.
A good boy.
Top Seven Ways to Boobytrap a Car

1. Loosen Lugnuts (009 PRODIGAL)


2. Drain the radiator (009 PRODIGAL)
3. Let air out of tire with nail (011 NIGHTMARES)
4. Potato on tailpipe caused car to backfire
(021 A PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE)
5. Took distributor cap from bad guys car
(063 ENDANGERED)
6. Sock over the tailpipe, so car couldn’t start
(075 THE BATTLE OF TOMMY GIORDANO)
7. Tied car to garbage dumpster with hose
(077 RUNNERS)
Car Troubles
44 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

Make a Car Drive Itself


As Seen in Episode: 003 - The Gauntlet. MacGyver
retrieves a top-secret map, and uses it to escape his
pursuers in the desert. Then, Mac helps a reporter with
evidence linking a general to an illegal arms dealer get out
of a Latin American country.

What You Need

Duct tape
Belt

What You Do

1. Loop belt through the steering wheel and


around the gear shift.

2. Tape the gas pedal to the floor.

3. Start the car.

4. Put the car into DRIVE. Pulling back the gear


shifter will cause the belt to tighten.
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 45

The tension on the belt will keep the steering wheel


straight.

5. Jump out.
46 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

Why It Works

If you require an explanation for this one, please


email us at IAMANIDIOT@macbook.com
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 47

How to Repair a Busted Brakeline


while in a Moving Car
As Seen in Episode: 015 - The Enemy Within.
MacGyver must protect a defector who can identify
the killer of three agents.

What You Need

A speeding car with a busted brakeline


Someone to drive the speeding car
A carload of thugs on your tail
Your MacGyver knife

What You Do

1. Wait until the car you’re in reaches a speed that


will be exciting for the television audience.

2. Ask your passenger to take over the steering wheel.


What! No passenger! See the entry: How to Make
a Car Drive Itself.
48 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

3. Pop the hood. Because the car is speeding, the wind


will rip off the hood when it opens. Hopefully, the
hood will take out a couple of pursuing thugs as
well.

4. Climb out onto the front of the car.

5. Locate cut brake line. It will be leaking brown


fluid.

6. Pray that the busted line is the outtake line and not
the intake line.
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 49

7. Open the brake fluid tank. It should be empty.

8. Locate the power steering fluid tank. Find the


power steering line that leads out from the power
steering fluid tank. If you can’t figure out which
line to cut, take a chance: you’re going to plummet
off a cliff before the next commercial.

9. Cut the power steering fluid line.

10. Insert the power steering fluid line, which should


now be spewing fluid, into the brake fluid tank.
This should provide enough fluid to the brakes to
stop the car. However, the power steering fluid, as
any mechanic will tell you, should never be used
as brake fluid. However, most mechanics probably
doesn’t get into many high-speed car chases in the
former East Germany.

Why It Works

It doesn’t. In a hydraulic braking system, the brake


fluid transfers the force applied to the brake pedal
to the brake cylinder, causing the brake pad to press
50 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

against the tire. The friction causes the car to stop. If


the brake line is cut, air is allowed into the system and
prevents the transfer of pressure. MacGyver’s solution
of replacing the fluid does not work because it does not
account for the air in the brakeline.

Why does the air cause a problem? Brake fluid cannot


be compressed, which means you cannot force it to
become any smaller. If you push on the brake fluid,
it, in reaction, pushes onto something else with equal
pressure. Therefore, brake fluid is an excellent medium
to transfer pressure. Air, however, can be compressed.
Air, if you press on it, will become smaller; therefore
it does not transfer pressure very well. The air will
not transfer the force applied to the brake pedal to the
brake cylinder, and once air gets into the system it is
very difficult to get out. So it seems, on this trick,
MacGyver is full of hot air.
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 51

Fake a Flat Tire


As Seen in Episode: 003 - The Thief of
Budapest. MacGyver retrieves a stolen horse
and gets picked up by a chopper. Then, in
Budapest, a gypsy steals a watch containing the
microfilm MacGyver was supposed to receive
from a Russian agent.

What You Need

Light bulbs
A board
Duct tape
A car

What You Do

1. Tape the light bulbs alongside the wide part


of the board.

2. Hide in the bushes near a road.


52 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

3. Place the board with the light bulbs on the


ground. Make sure the light bulbs are on the
bottom of the board.

4. Wait until the target car drives by.

5. Stomp on the board causing all the light bulbs


to shatter. It will sound like a tire has blown
out. The car will stop.

6. Wait until the driver comes out to check the


tires.

7. Ambush him and steal the car.


Chapter 2: Car Troubles 53

Why It Works

If you’ve ever heard a tire blowout, then you


know it’s a loud popping noise, often so loud
it is startling. Breaking, or more accurately
depressurizing, a light bulb sounds very much
like a tire blowout. The inside of a light bulb is
54 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

a vacuum, the complete absence of air. When


the bulb is broken, air instantly rushes in to fill
the vacuum. The quick influx of air creates the
intense popping sound that may be mistaken for
a tire blowout. This should not be surprising
because in a tire blowout, the same change in air
pressure occurs, only in reverse. Because the air
in the tire is under pressure, when the tire wall
is punctured the air seeks to escape the outside
of the tire where the pressure is less. The rapid
change in air pressure causes the popping sound.
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 55

Recharge a Car Battery with a


Bottle of Wine
As Seen in Episode: 029 - Jack of Lies. Jack Dalton
needs help freeing a “botanist” being held by drug
smugglers, and she turns out to be an old friend of
Mac’s.

What You Need

Wine (preferably red)


A dead car battery

What You Do

1. Unscrew the caps on the battery indicating


positive and negative.

2. Pour wine into the battery.

3. Replace the caps and start the engine.


56 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

4. Enjoy your freshly charged battery.

Why It Works

If you look at car battery, you’ll notice it has two


large terminals with plastic caps. One terminal is
marked (+), or positive, while the other is marked
(-) negative. Since electrons are negatively
charged, they are attracted to the negative
terminal of the battery. Pouring any acidic liquid
in the battery allows the electrons to flow freely
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 57

between the negative and positive terminals


providing energy to operate the car’s motor.

Apparently, Mac is not a wine connoisseur. For


this to work, our top-notch research team has
determined that his wine was mostly vinegar.
Vinegar’s highly acidic state would make it a better
solution for the electrons to travel through.

So save your wine and only do this if 1) you


really need that car to start or 2) you want your
drunk uncle to electrocute himself trying to slurp
from the battery case.
58 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

How to Lift a Car with an


Innertube
As Seen in Episode: 111 - Harry’s Will. When Mac tries
to claim the station wagon left to him by his late Grandpa
Harry, it starts a strange chase that leads him to an ex-con
with a dream of running a restaurant, a soup kitchen in
need of money, and a gang of crooks out for themselves.

What You Need

A deflated innertube
An air pump
An old car that needs lifting
An understanding of air pressure (PV=uRT)

What You Do

1. Place the deflated tube underneath the car in the


same place as you would a car jack.

2. Inflate the tube to its maximum pressure.


Chapter 2: Car Troubles 59

3. Watch as the car rises off the ground.

4. Marvel at the wonders of air pressure science.

Why It Works

Air contains tons of microscopic molecules, and


just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they
aren’t having an effect on you. These microscopic
molecules have mass just like anything else—a rock,
for instance.

So, picture air as a bunch of really tiny rocks pushing


you. Normally, these rocks are far apart and we don’t
60 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

notice them. However, when you force a lot of air


into a small space, a tire, for instance, these little rocks
(molecules) are pushed really close together. Because
these rocks are an antisocial bunch they do not want to
be that close together. As a result they push outward on
the wall of the tire in an attempt to get away from each
other. And they can push really hard. The average
pressure in a truck tire can range from 30 to 100 PSI.
The force of the molecules pushing outward on the tire
wall inflates the tire and is able to lift a car on top of
the tire.

In fact, the pressure exerted on you by these molecules,


is part of what is keeping you from being able to dunk
a basketball or jump your dirt bike like Evil Knievel.
At sea level the air in the earth’s atmosphere is pressing
down on you with a force of 14.7 pounds per square
inch (PSI). However, the higher you go the more relief
you get. Air pressure decreases at higher altitudes.
When one is in jet plane flying at approximately 30,000
feet, the PSI is much lower, closer to 5 PSI. If only
your high school gym was as high as the top of Mt.
Everest!
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 61

A MacGyver Classic: The Fifty-


Cent Arcwelder
As Seen in Episode: too many to mention.

What You Need

A car battery
Jumper cables
Fifty cents (two quarters)

What You Do

1. Place a quarter in each alligator clip at the end of


each jumper cable.

2. Attach the other end of the jumper cables to the car


battery.

3. Grasp the rubber grips of the jumper cables on the


end attached to the quarters.

4. Slowly bring quarters together, but do not let them


62 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

touch. An arc of electricity will shoot between the


two coins.

5. Use this electric arc to make necessary welds.


Chapter 2: Car Troubles 63

Why It Works

When you attach the jumper cables to the car battery


you create a circuit. Energy from the positive terminal
of the battery wants to return to the negative terminal of
the battery. As long as the ends of the jumper cables do
not touch, the circuit is open. By bringing the ends of
the jumper cable near one another, you allow electricity
to jump from one cable to the other, completing the
circuit. The quarters, because they are mostly copper
(over ninety percent), conduct electricity easily. They
offer an easy path for the electricity to make its jump.
Even better, because quarters are clad in nickel—the
sides are made of nickel while the core is copper—the
electricity passes through the copper core focusing
the electrical discharge towards the thin edge of the
quarters. This narrows the point of release, creating
a more powerful electrical arc. This is why the edge
of the quarter offers an infinitely narrow, and ideal,
jumping point for the electric current.
64 Chapter 2: Car Troubles

How to Repair a Busted Fuel Line


with a Ballpoint Pen
As Seen in Episode: 015 - The Enemy Within. MacGyver
must protect a defector who can identify the killer of three
agents.

What You Need

Car
Severed fuel line
Ballpoint pen
Duct tape

What You Do

1. Disassemble the pen. This can be easily done by


pulling the tip of the pen from the body.

2. Locate the severed fuel line. The fuel line will be


located to the right of the air filter and can be spotted
by the puddle of gas forming on your driveway.
Chapter 2: Car Troubles 65

3. Insert each end


of the severed
fuel line into
the hollow pen
sheath.

4. Liberally apply
duct tape to
insure that
there will be no
leakage.

5. Enjoy your drive, but go easy on the gas--


this is only a temporary fix. Unless you own
an orange Dodge Charger named the General
Lee, in which case the laws of physics, auto
repair, and that thing about not marrying your
cousin do not apply to you.

Why It Works

The pen sheath acts as a replacement tube for the


section of the severed fuel line. The duct tape
ensures that leakage will be minimal. In practice,
any sturdy tube will function equally as well.
Top Five Most Useful Chemicals
1. Hydrochloric Acid
2. Sodium thiosulfate
3. Acetic Acid
4. Ammonia
5. Alcohol
Chemistry Teacher
or Super Spy?
68 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

Make a Fire Extinguisher from the


Contents of Your Kitchen Cabinet
As Seen in Episode: 132 -- Good Knight MacGyver. A
bonk on the head sends MacGyver back in time to King
Arthur’s Court, where his futuristic ways are a threat
to Merlin’s magic, but they also might prove that the
magician didn’t try to do in the King.

What You Need

Large plastic bottle with a narrow opening


Vinegar
Baking soda
A fire

What You Do

1. Fill bottle ¾ full with baking soda.

2. Pour vinegar into the bottle.

3. Aim the bottle mouth toward the fire. Bubbly


liquid will shoot out of the mouth of the bottle.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 69

After enough bubbly liquid reaches the flames they


will die out.

4. Glow in the satisfaction that Mom’s meat loaf is


saved.
70 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

Why It Works

Fire extinguishers work by removing one of the


critical ingredients for a fire–oxygen. When vinegar is
combined with baking soda, the two react and produce
carbon dioxide gas or CO2. This type of reaction is
known in chemistry as an acid-base reaction, and the
vinegar (the acid) and baking soda (the base) model is
a high school chemistry classic:

NaHCO2 (baking soda/base)  +  CH3COOH (vinegar/


acid) --> CO2 (gas)  +  H2O (water) +  Na  (Sodium)
+  CH3COO  (a combination of hydrogen, carbon and
oxygen that we like to call “magic dust”)

The CO2 gas produced by this reaction has a heavier


molecular weight than does the surrounding air, which
is comprised primarily of nitrogen and oxygen, so
the CO2 sinks into the bottom of the room. As the
reaction continues, more and more carbon dioxide gas
is produced and slowly fills up the room, displacing the
oxygen. When the level of carbon dioxide has risen to
the level of the flame, the flame will go out from lack of
available oxygen. As mother always said: “If I’ve told
you once, I’ve told you 1,000 times any combustion-
reaction (fire) requires a primary oxidant (oxygen) in
order to work.” Yeah, she’s a special lady, our mom.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 71

How to Stop an Acid Leak with a


Chocolate Bar
As Seen in Episode: 001 – Pilot. When the Government
has an impossible mission, it calls on MacGyver, a laid-
back former special-forces agent. The mulleted-one is
tasked to rescue scientists trapped in an underground lab
protected by a deadly security system.

What You Need

A leaking container of sulfuric acid


A chocolate bar

WARNING: If sulfuric acid touches your skin, it will


burn you.

What You Do

1. Remove chocolate bar from its wrapper.

2. Rub chocolate bar onto the leak.


72 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

3. Wink at your friends as the chocolate reacts with


the acid to form a gluelike substance, effectively
plugging the leak.

Why It Works

It’s is a relatively simple chemical reaction. The sugar


in the chocolate bar reacts with the sulfuric acid to
create a new substance with the properties of glue.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 73

The reaction:

Sugar (C11H22O11) + Sulfuric


Acid (H2SO4) = Thank God I’m not
dead (actually, carbon) (C)

When sulfuric acid encounters sugar, it removes the


water (H2O) from the sugar, leaving the carbon. An
example of carbon is the black ashes that are left when
you burn wood in a fireplace. The dehydrated chocolate
bar/carbon acts like a sticky putty and plugs the holes,
preventing the acid from continuing to leak.

Would It Really Work?

Unlikely, since the acid will probably be issueing from


the leak with a fair amount of force. Picture trying to
put chewing gum on gas leak. However, if the acid
is only trickling out, then Mac might have found an
another excuse for you to carry around a chocolate bar.
In any case, MacGyver would have needed a lot of
chocolate to plug those leaks: enough chocolate keep
Oprah on a sugar high for the next decade.
74 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

Read the Contents of a Burned


Sheet of Paper
As Seen in Episode: 096 -- Live and Learn. MacGyver
reaches out to a promising high-school student as part of
a Phoenix Foundation mentor program, despite a cynical
teacher and the youth’s no-nonsense father.

What You Need

Paper (freshly burned)


Glycerol
Water
Wooden sticks

What You Do

1. Place the burned paper carefully on a clean sheet of


paper.

2. Mix equal-parts glycerol and water.

3. Pour the mixture into a plastic spray bottle.


Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 75

4. Spray the glycerol


and water mixture
over the burned
paper.

5. Carefully smooth
the burned piece of
paper with wooden
sticks.

6. Hold the paper


in front of a
lightbulb.

7. Read the writing on the paper.


76 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

8. Admire your luck that a substance as cool as glycerol


was sitting around an office.

Why It Works

By spraying a mix of glycerol and water on the paper,


MacGyver caused the burned paper to absorb water
and expand, allowing him to read it.

The glycerol acts as a moistening agent to keep the


paper from crumbling into ash while you’re smoothing
it out. The grease in pencil lead does not burn easily,
so any writing in pencil will remain fairly unscathed
by the flame. And since the grease also repels water, it
won’t be damaged by the water-glycerol solution. The
water will make the paper semi-transparent, meaning
that it will also light to pass through it, however the
grease will not be transparent. By holding the wet
paper in front of the light, you can see the outline of
the writing.

Glycerol, by the way, is found in sports drinks AND


high-powered explosives like nitro-glycerin. Any
wonder that glycerol is in the Chemistry Hall of Fame?
(Yes, there is such thing).
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 77

How to Make Homemade Teargas


As Seen in Episode: 054 - Blow Out. Political terrorism
hits close to home when Nikki, who accidentally witnessed
a terrorist bombing, is targeted by the bomber, who fears
she can identify him.

What You Need

Hot water bottle


Spices (preferably chili power AND/OR red
pepper)
Baking soda
Vinegar
Your MacGyver knife

What You Do

1. Pour spices into hot water bottle.

2. Pour baking soda into the hot water bottle.

3. Pour vinegar in the hot water bottle.

4. Close bottle. The bottle will expand rapidly.


78 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

5. Approach the
villain.

6. Pierce bottle
with knife.

7. S m i l e
innocently
while the
v i l l a i n
screams in
pain as hot
spices burn
his eyes.

8. Go save this episode’s female victim/Mac’s old


flame.

Why It Works

When vinegar and baking soda are combined, they


form carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide inflates the
hot water bag. The effect is similar to shaking up a can
of soda. Piercing the bottle causes a forceful release
of the CO2 gas along with the painful (and delicious)
spices. A little cumin in your eyes, Mr. Terrorist?
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 79

How to Make a Homemade


Spectroscope
As Seen in Episode: 113 - Bitter Harvest. MacGyver picks
up where a murdered farm-worker left off by investigating
a grower’s possible use of illegal pesticides.

What You Need

Your MacGyver knife


A glass
Nail polish remover
Lamp
Sunglasses (with polarized lenses)
A sample of the suspect pesticide to test
An encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry

What You Do

1. Scrape some small pieces of the pesticide into the


glass. The smaller, the better.

2. Pour in some nail polish remover.


80 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

3. Hold the glass over the lamp.

4. Look through the polarized lens at the sample.

5. Use your encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry


to identify the sample based on the colors you see
through your homemade spectroscope.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 81

Why It Works

A spectroscope is used to identify elements based upon


their colors. Different elements reveal different colors
when they are heated.

In this case, MacGyver’s polarized sunglasses (aviator


style optional) act as a simple diffraction grating
spectroscope. This type of spectroscope separates
light by preventing certain wavelengths of light from
passing through the glass, allowing Mac to observe the
color of an element when light is passed through it.

The nail polish contains acetone, a commonly used


solvent, which dissolves the sample. Passing a light
through the dissolved sample allows Mac to see if the
pesticide contains a certain color, which he is able to
identify as illegal.

Would It Work?

Nah. Each element appears as a slightly different


color. Most pesticides are complex chemical chains,
meaning that Mac would have to know each color
in that chemical compound. On the other hand, if it
82 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

were a simple element like potassium, he would see


a yellowish huh, and would know immediately that
the bad guy is guilty of environmental evil. However,
in order to determine the complex array of elements
likely to be present in his sample Mac would likely
need a spectroscope color guide and much better
spectroscope. Aviator sunglasses, while cool, do not
filter light perfectly.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 83

How to Create Homemade Fog


As Seen in Episode: 043 - D.O.A. MacGyver. An amnesiac
MacGyver is hunted by terrorists who believe he knows
of their plan to assassinate U.S. military figures with an
explosive device.

What You Need

Muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid


Ammoniac
Safety goggles

WARNING: Both ammonia and muriatic acid, are


hazardous if you touch, breathe, or ingest them.
BE CAREFUL: no chugging contest with your
roommates.

What You Do

1. Put on your stylish safety goggles.

2. Pour the ammoniac and the muriatic acid into


separate buckets.
84 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

3. Splash the ammoniac onto the floor.

4. Splash the muriatic acid onto the puddle of


ammoniac.

5. Hold your breath and watch as white fog fills the


room.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 85

Why It Works

When ammoniac reacts with muriatic acid it creates a


white ammonium chloride fog:

NH3 (ammoniac) + HCl (muriatic/hydrochloric


acid)        > NH4Cl (ammonium chloride)

Ammonium chloride is a white colored substance that


is also produced in volcanic eruptions and apparently
used in the manufacture of livestock feed (yum!). In
practice, great care should be used when recreating this
trick because the fumes that are created will be very
toxic.

To create a safe, fun, homemade fog, try pouring water


over dry ice. After all, muriatic acid isn’t sold in ice
cream parlors, but then again neither is dry ice.
86 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

How to Develop Film with Orange


Juice
As Seen in Episode: 070 - The Survivors. MacGyver
and Pete find a crashed DEA plane while on a rugged
wilderness survival test and have to flee from the drug
smugglers responsible for downing the plane.

What You Need

Orange Juice
Battery Acid (diluted)
Ammonia
Tongs or gloves
Drug smugglers who have left incriminating
film behind.

What You Do

1. Find your neighborhood dark room (or turn off the


lights in your closet, genius).

2. Soak the film in orange juice for about ten


minutes.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 87

3. Put the film out of the orange juice.

4. Rinse film with ammonia.

5. Post any pictures with naked women on the


Internet.

Why It Works

The film in your camera records the visible light


reflected from the objects in the camera’s field of
view. Chemicals are then used to extract that image,
either by you in a darkroom or by the pimply 18-year-
old teenager at the Photomat.

MacGyver’s film, like all film, consists of an


emulsion painted onto clear plastic or glass. An
emulsion is gelatin solution containing a group of tiny
crystals known as silver halides. These silver halides
are extremely sensitive to light. When you click your
camera shutter you open a lens, allowing reflected
light off of the subject of your photo to be captured
by those amazing silver halide crystals. The result is
called a latent image.
88 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

Chemicals, called developers, are then used to make


the latent image visible. When developing film,
the goal is to convert the silver halides into metallic
silver, using a series of complex and offsetting
reactions with acids and bases. Bases are bitter-tasting
substances like soap while acids are corrosive, sour
tasting substances like lemon juice. It’s a somewhat
complex chemical process to go through just to get a
photograph of someone’s eyes closed! Oh, and did we
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 89

mention this must all be done in complete darkness?

MacGyver used the orange juice as a developer.


As everyone knows, orange juice contains a lot of
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is actually an acid, ascorbic
acid. Ascorbic acid is a very good developer if
combined with an alkaline, baking soda for instance.
MacGyver skipped this step. Some commercial
developer chemicals use a form of ascorbic acid as
their primary ingredient. So MacGyver is on the right
track.

After the developer has taken effect, and it might be a


while just using orange juice, the chemical conversion
process must be stopped. The step is called the stop
bath. Rinsing the film with water should be sufficient
to stop the process.

Next, a fixer is used to dissolve the undeveloped


silver halides. If one does not dissolve the
undeveloped halides then when your film is exposed
to light, it will go entirely black! As a fixer,
MacGyver used ammonia, which is a very strong
base.
90 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

Here’s the chemical formula:

Developer (Orange Juice (C2H4O2))


+ Fixer ( Ammonia (NH4))
= Processed Film

Hey, we left out the battery acid! And MacGyver


should have, too. It was unnecessary. Battery acid,
also known as sulfuric acid is sometimes used a part
of a bleaching agent to reduce the contrast in the
developed film to achieve an artistic effect. If you ask
us, the last thing you want to be doing is being artsy
with sulfuric acid.

And for all you caffeine addicts, feel free to substitute


coffee for orange juice. The caffeic acid, we couldn’t
believe either, makes an excellent developer. Just
remember to stir in a spoonful of baking soda before
you dip the undeveloped film.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 91

How to Power a Radio with a


Cactus
As Seen in Episode: 018 - Ugly Duckling. Black market
thugs are after a 15-year-old genius, who is the only
person capable of fixing a stolen missile’s guidance system.

What You Need

A cactus
A galvanized nail
A small radio
Your MacGyver knife

What You Do

1. Open the radio’s plastic case.

2. Find the power leads. They will be a pair of black


and red wires connected to the battery terminals.
See diagram.

3. Cut the wires away from the battery terminals.

4. Strip the plastic coating from the wires to reveal


the copper inside.
92 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

5. Wrap the copper part of the black wire around the


nail.

6. Insert the nail into the cactus.

7. Insert the copper part of the red wire into the


cactus.

8. Turn on the radio. Congratulations! You’re


operating on cactus power.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 93

Why It Works

The cactus acts as a natural battery, providing power to


the radio. Both batteries and cacti contain chemicals
known as electrolytes, which are comprised of charged
particles called ions. The nail and the copper wire
act as electrodes. The chemical reaction between the
electrolyte and the electrodes create electricity, which
makes the radio work.
94 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

This trick doesn’t just work with cacti, many other


objects contains electrolytes: lemons, bananas, even
your own body! Of course, this trick only works if the
device you are trying to use does not require too much
electricity. So you’d better not count on cacti to power
that new Margarita Mixer.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 95

How to Use a Photographic Fixer


as an Antidote and as an Icepack
As Seen in Episodes: 074 - Fraternity of Thieves. MacGyver
learns that Pete’s son may be responsible for the theft of a
Phoenix Foundation technology system.

135 - Split Decision. MacGyver’s boxer buddy fights to


retain custody of his daughter, but some bad bookmakers
want him to take a dive in his comeback bout.

What You Need

Sodium Thiosulfate (A photographic fixing chemical)


Prussic Acid (Hydrogen cyanide)
Water
A cup
A Zip-loc bag
An expendable friend

What You Do

1. Trip your friend and then pour prussic acid down


his throat.

2. Nod in understanding as he gasps curses at you.


96 Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher

3. Fill a cup with water and sodium thiosulfate in


equal measure.

4. Make your friend drink the diluted sodium


thiosulfate. He may be a bit reluctant seeing that
you’ve already poisoned him.

5. Turn your attention to the ankle.

6. Pour water and sodium thiosulfate into the plastic


bag in equal parts.

7. Seal the bag and shake it. The mixture should


become very cold.

8. Put the bag on your friend’s ankle.

9. Tell him not to thank you. His smiling face is


thanks enough.

Why It Works

As an antidote:
Prussic acid poisoning, aka cyanide poisoning –got
your attention didn’t we? – is rapid and lethal. Sodium
thiosulfate, along with sodium nitrite (optional), is the
standard antidote for cyanide poisoning.
Chapter 3: Superspy/Chemistry Teacher 97

Sodium thiosulfate helps the body convert cyanide in


the less toxic thiocyanate. It reacts with cyanide to
produce sulfite and thiocyanate ions:
CN- + S2O32- SCN- + SO3
MacGyver used sodium thiosulfate as an oral antidote,
which might do in an emergency, although sodium
thiosulfate is poorly absorbed by the intestines. In
practice, sodium thiosulfate is injected directly into
blood stream in small doses over an extended period
of time.

As a cold pack:

Sodium thiosulfate, when dissolved in water, lowers


the temperature of the water. Chemists call this an
endothermic reaction. Basically, the sodium thiosulfate
requires energy to break its chemical bonds to dissolve.
It takes this energy from the water. When you remove
energy from something, it becomes colder.

A cold pack you buy at the store relies on the exact


same endothermic reaction, except instead of using
sodium thiosulfate, it uses ammonium nitrate, which
requires even more energy to dissolve and thus chills
the water even further.
Top Five Ways to Pick a Lock

1. Your MacGyver knife (TOO MANY TO COUNT)


2. The wire surrounding a champagne cork
(136 GUNZ ‘N BOYS)
3. A hairpin (101 LOST AMADEUS)
4. The firing pin of a gun
(140 LOST TREASURE OF ATLANTIS)
5. The metal casing of a overhead light
(106 HUMANITY)
Breaking and Entering
100 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

How to Crack a Safe with a


Telephone Handset
As Seen in Episode: 106 – Humanity. MacGyver and
Thornton are left to the mercies of a Romanian agent still
loyal to his deposed leader Ceausescu after a mission to
obtain his secret files is sabotaged.

What You Need

A safe with a combination lock


A telephone

What You Do

1. Remove the handset from the telephone. The


handset is the part of the telephone into which you
speak.

2. Open up the handset. On some phones, mostly


older models, the mouthpiece and earpiece screw
off. For a newer phone, smash it open with your
shoe heel.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 101

3. Remove the microphone and speaker. The


microphone will be in the mouthpiece and the
speaker will be in the earpiece. See diagram.

Earpiece
Speaker

Mouthpiece

Microphone

4. Rewire the speaker directly to the microphone.


Fortunately, there are only two wires. Tie both
wires to the microphone.

5. Hold the microphone up to the safe door, next to


the combination dial.

6. Turn the dial three times to the right to reset the


lock.
102 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

7. Slowly turn the dial to the right until you hear a


click.

8. Slowly turn the dial to the left until you hear a


second click.

9. Turn the dial back to right until you hear a third and
final click.

10. Congratulations! You can now open the safe.

Why It Works

Most safes have combination locks. Combinations


locks have a dial which when turned to a specific
sequence of numbers will open. Anyone who had a
locker in high school will be familiar with the left,
right, left turning sequence. The key to cracking a
combination lock is to detect the slight click that occurs
when the dial is turned to the correct number. In order
to hear this click, MacGyver used the microphone and
speaker from the telephone to amplify the clicking
sound. Of course, a doctor’s stethoscope would work
just as well.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 103

How to Fool a Thumbprint Reader


As Seen in Episode: 089 - Halloween Knights.
MacGyver’s not sure whether it’s a trick or a treat when
his ruthless rival Murdoc asks for help to free his innocent
sister, who’s being held captive by a vengeful ex-employer.

What You Need

Chalk
Candle wax
A glass of water

What You Do

1. Identify a person with the appropriate clearance to


bypass the thumbprint reader.

2. Hand them a glass to hold while you tie your


shoe.

3. Thank them. Remember, a hero is always polite.


104 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

4. Crush the chalk into a fine powder and lightly blow


it on to the glass. The person’s thumbprint should
now be clearly identifiable.

5. Melt the candle wax onto you thumb.

6. Press the wax against the thumbprint. The


chalk print will adhere to the warm wax and you
will have acquired the thumbprint you need.
Congratulations!
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 105

Why It Works

As made evident on countless television detective


shows, the oil from your finger leaves a residue on any
surface you touch. The chalk particles stick to this
oil creating an image of the grooves of your finger, a
fingerprint. The chalk attaches to the wax when the
wax is pressed against the print. The smooth surface
of the wax holds the chalk fingerprint. The wax-chalk
thumbprint effectively mimics the actual thumb and
fools the thumbprint reader.

Don’t have access to pool chalk and wax? Use your


lungs. According to a recent German study, simply
breathing on most fingerprint readers can defeat them.
The moisture of your breath fogs the glass on the
reader, making the fingerprint of the last person who
used the reader appear on the glass. The reader sees
the print and accepts it as valid.
106 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

How to Hotwire a Phone to Listen


to a Call in another Hotel Room
As Seen in Episode: 075 - The Battle of Tommy Giordiano.
When a kid is kidnapped by his estranged father, Mac tries to
help the mother rescue the boy. But the father is the son of an
aging organized crime kingpin whose control is being threatened
by subordinates.

What You Need

Your MacGyver knife


A telephone, not a cellphone
A hotel

What You Do

1. Sneak into the hotel room in which you want to


eavesdrop.

2. Look at the phone jack. A number should be written
on the jack.

3. Find the nearest supply closet. In a proper


installation, a connection block will be mounted in
a closet relatively close to the room.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 107

Connection Block Diagram

4. Once you’ve located the connection block, look for


numbers written along the edge of the block. These
numbers should correspond to either the hotel room
numbers or the telephone jack numbers.
108 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

5. Go back to your room and disconnect the telephone


from the wall jack of your room. Be sure to take
the gray line cord that is attached to the wall.

6. Cut the line cord and strip back the plastic sheath to
reveal the wires inside.

7. Connect the wires of the line cord to the section


of the connection block next to the indicated room
number.

8. Wait until your target receives a call. Your phone


will ring as well. Give the target time to answer
then listen in.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 109

Why It Works

If you think the Internet has security problems, you’ve


never examined the telephone system. When you
make a phone call, your voice is transmitted over a pair
of copper wires to the telephone company and they
retransmit it over their fancy-schmancy fiber-optic
network until it reaches the other end where it finishes
its journey over those two copper wires again. At any
point while the signal is being carried over the copper
wire, anyone can tap into the signal by exposing the
wires and connecting their own telephone. In fact,
these so-called tappers can even make phone calls
using your phone connection.

Of course, tapping phones is a federal offense, so we’d


advise not trying these techniques except on your own
phone. Yes, MacGyver committed a criminal act.
Thank God for those high-powered Phoenix Foundation
lawyers, otherwise poor Mac might be sunning himself
in low-security federal penitentiary.
110 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

How to Fool a Motion Detector


with a Lamp
As Seen in Episode: 082 – Renegade. A mentally disturbed
man steals a precious vial of deadly bacteria, and
MacGyver is shocked when a confrontation with the thief
reveals that he’s a friend who once saved his life.

What You Need

A motion detector
A lamp (very bright and with a long cord)

What You Do

1. Turn on the lamp.

2. Aim lamp directly at the motion detector.

3. Move forward while holding the lamp directly at


the detector.

4. Place the lamp directly in front of the detector.


You can now move freely without triggering the
detector.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 111

Why It Works

Many motion detectors use infrared light to detect


motion. Moving objects change the amount of
infrared light striking the detector. By directing the
lamp at the detector, you effectively flood the space
with infrared light, masking the changes in infrared
light that occur when you move.
112 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

Bypass a Keypad Lock with a


Pencil
As Seen in Episode: 049 - Fire and Ice. A thief kills
MacGyver’s old friend, leaving a trail of stolen jewels that
leads straight to a foreign consulate. Hey, this just happened
to us last weekend.

What You Need

A keypad lock
A pencil
A piece of paper

What You Do

1. Crush the lead of the pencil into a fine powder.

2. Pour the lead dust onto the piece of paper.

3. Blow the finely crushed lead onto the keypad. Be


sure that the lead is distributed evenly across the
keypad.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 113

4. Note which keys have the highest concentration of


pencil lead.

5. Press the key with the highest concentration of


pencil lead.

6. Press the key with the NEXT highest concentration


of pencil lead.

7. Continue until the sequence is completed.


114 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

Why It Works

When your finger touches a surface, it leaves an oily


residue. Each succeeding touch will leave slightly less
oil. And, of course, the more you touch the each key,
the more oil you will leave on that particular key. So to
clarify, the first key will have the most oil and therefore
the most lead.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 115

How to Disarm a Laser Beam


Alarm System
As Seen in Episode: 001 – Pilot. MacGyver is tasked to
rescue scientists trapped in an underground lab protected
by a deadly security system.

What You Need

A laser beam alarm system


A cigar
Binoculars

What You Do

1. Light up your cigar. Ahh, isn’t that nicotine


soothing.

2. Blow smoke in the direction where you believe the


laser beam to be. The smoke particles will make
the beam visible without triggering the alarm.

3. Remove the clear glass eyepiece from the


binoculars. You may have to break the binoculars
but be careful not to damage the eyepiece.
116 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

4. Use the eyepiece to redirect the laser back at its


source. This will disable the laser.

Why It Works

File This Under: Don’t Try This On My Next Heist.


Simply redirecting a laser back at its source is much
more likely to trigger the alarm than to disable it. A
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 117

laser beam alarm is activated if the beam is interrupted.


By inserting an eyepiece or mirror or anything else
into the beam, you interrupt the beam, likely triggering
the alarm. We say, sit back in your recliner, light up
another cigar and figure out some other way to get
those secret plans.
118 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

How to Bypass a Motion Detector


with Chemistry
As Seen in Episode: 053 - Hell Week. A frustrated physics
student at MacGyver’s alma mater becomes a ticking time
bomb when a school contest turns into a family war.

What You Need

Ammonia
Acetic acid
Two spray bottles

What You Do

1. Pour the ammonia into one


of the spray bottles.

2. Pour the acetic acid into the


other spray bottle.

3. Cautiously approach the


motion detector.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 119

4. Spray both bottles. The chemicals will combine to


form a warming smokescreen.

5. Run past the motion detector. Yelling, ”Woo hoo!


Woo hoo!” as you run by is optional, but not rec-
ommended.

Why It Works

The reaction between the ammonia and the acetic acid


excites the molecules of ammonia, creating a warm-
ing (but toxic) mist. Such a reaction is known as an
exothermic reaction, one that generates heat. As we
all know, many of today’s ultramodern motion detec-
tors operate by sensing changes in temperatures. The
heat created by the exothermic
reaction increases the ambi-
ent temperature of the room.
Once the temperature hits 98.6
degrees (the temperature of
the human body), a person can
pass through the room unde-
tected. The smokescreen adds
a nice visual touch for your
television audience.
120 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

How to Pick a Lock with a Pocket-


knife
As Seen in Episode: What episode wasn’t it in?

What You Need

Your MacGyver knife


A door lock

What You Do

1. Insert knife into lock.

2. Say Shazam!

3. Turn the knob.

4. Open the door.

Why It Works

It won’t, unless…the door was already unlocked.


Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 121

Most door locks are simple cylinder locks. This type


of lock consists of a grooved cylinder and small metal
pins which fall into the groove preventing the cylinder
from turning. When you insert the key, the ridges of
the key match up with the small metal pins and push
them upward. With the pins raised, the cylinder is able
to rotate and the door knob can turn. The door is un-
locked.

If you actually want to pick a lock you will need two


things: a tension wrench and a pick. Fortunately, both
these items can be made from simple household items.
The tension wrench can be an allen key, with the long
part filed to be narrow. A bent bicycle spoke can be
used as the pick.

Okay, so here is the real way to pick a lock.

1. Insert tension wrench into lock.

2. Turn the wrench to apply tension onto the cylinder


of the lock. The cylinder is the section that moves
when you turn the key. By applying tension to the
cylinder, you create a ridge near the top of the lock
for the locking pins to rest upon.
122 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

3. Scrape the inside of the top of the lock with the


pick. The scraping action will push the locking
pins upward.

4. Once all the pins have been pushed upward, the


tension on the wrench will give and the knob will
turn. The lock has been picked.
Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering 123

How to Break into a Building the


Cool Way
As Seen in Episode: 136 - Gunz N’ Boys. Mac tries to help
a boy prepared to take the rap for another boy murdered by
weapons dealers.

What You Need

A building with an air conditioner (preferably on the


ground floor)
Your bare hands

What You Do

1. Rip the air conditioner off the wall. Ta Da!

2. Crawl in through the hole in the wall.

3. Eat the terrorist’s extra spicy chili for which you’ve


been hankering. Boy that’s hot, bet-cha wish you
had some way to cool down.

4. Curse the jerk who ripped out the air conditioner.


124 Chapter 4: Breaking and Entering

Why It Works

In this case, why it works doesn’t really matter. How-


ever, we think this is a really cool trick because it re-
veals how the flaws in a security system can be so ob-
vious that no one sees them.

In this case, the flaw is a air conditioning unit. The


front door to the building may have a dead-bolt, but
by simply walking around to the side of the building, a
thief can enter via the air conditioner route.

Our favorite example of a security flaw: a couple years


ago, in Washington, DC, a homeless thief went on a
crime spree targeting office suites in high-end office
buildings easily bypassing the most secure doors. He
did so by hammering through the drywall next to the
door creating an opening through which he could enter
the office suite. Brilliant and homeless. Sorry ladies,
his number is unlisted.
Top Five Diversions

1. Remote Control Blimp (109 THE WALL)


2. Fireworks on a Church Bell
(004 THE MAP/GAUNTLET)
3. Burning Rum (063 ENDANGERED)
4. Lantern Thrown at Crates
(068 ON A WING AND A PRAYER)
5. Window Cleaner and a Light Bulb
(128 OBSESSED)
Party Tricks and Diversions
128 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

Undress a Woman without Using


Your Hands
As Seen in Episode: 005 – Heist. In the Virgin Islands,
MacGyver and a senator’s daughter must recover $60
million in stolen diamonds earmarked for a relief fund.

What You Need

A paperclip
A long piece of thread (more than four feet
long)
A woman wearing a zip up dress
A crowd of innocent bystanders

What You Do

1. Slightly bend one of the ends of the paper clip to


make a hook.

2. Tie the piece of thread to the paperclip.

3. Sneak up to the woman while she is preoccupied,


talking to another person.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 129

4. Attach hook of paperclip to the zipper of the dress.


The thread will now be dragging along the floor.

5. Sneak away to far side of room.

6. Wait until the woman makes her way across the


room.
130 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

7. As she walks, one of the party guests will eventually


step on the thread. The thread will tense and pull
the zipper down. As the zipper lowers, the dress
will slip off the woman.

8. Watch as partygoers ogle woman.

9. Send us some photos.

Why It Works

The force created by the tension of the thread is in the


opposite direction of the momentum of the woman’s
movement. This force exploits the weakest point of
resistance: the zipper. After the zipper comes down, so
does the dress. And what better diversion is there then
a half-dressed woman? Ok, a naked woman, but you
get the point.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 131

How to Make Buffed Dice


As Seen in Episode: 005 – Heist. In the Virgin Islands,
MacGyver and a senator’s daughter must recover $60
million in stolen diamonds earmarked for a relief fund.

What You Need

Dice
A shoe polisher
Powdered soap

What You Do

1. Pour a small amount of powdered soap onto the


shoe polisher.

2. Turn on the shoe publisher.



3. Hold the dice against the shoe polisher for a few
seconds. BE CAREFUL: Putting your hand
against a shoe polisher is dangerous and can result
in injury.

4. Make sure that the sides of the dice being polishing
are on the opposite side of the number that you
want to roll.
132 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

Why It Works

Although this would probably only work at senior


center gambling nights, it appears like Mac may have
found a way to beat the odds. Dice are manufactured
so each side weighs the same. If one side were heavier
than another you would influence the odds of rolling a
certain number. Mac uses a shoe polisher to increase
his odds. The polisher smoothly removes a thin layer
of plastic on one side of the die, causing that side
to weigh less. Thus, on average the number on the
lightest side should come up much more often when
the die is cast.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 133

How to Make a Lie Detector with a


Blood Pressure Cuff and an Alarm
Clock

As Seen in Episode: 019 - Slow Death. Mac and a


trainload of passengers are taken hostage by a tribal
chieftain seeking the men responsible for his son’s death.

What You Need

A blood pressure cuff


An alarm clock
Copper wires
Tape

What You Do

1. Open up the alarm clock.

2. Create a looped circuit between the battery and the


alarm using your two copper wires. This step will
be easy or difficult depending on the complexity of
the alarm clock’s interior. In general, older alarm
clocks will have simpler circuitry.
134 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

3. Tape the ends of both copper wires to the subject’s


arm. The wires should be about one centimeter
apart.

4. Put blood pressure cuff around subject’s arm.

5. Question the subject. Sample question: Did you or


did you not leave the toilet seat down?
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 135

Why It Works

A lie detector, otherwise known as a polygraph, works


by monitoring changes in the body in reaction to the
stimulus (i.e., questions) provided by the interviewer.
Scientists know that when a person lies it causes a
distinctive reaction in the body, which can be identified
by looking at the following factors: heart rate, blood
pressure, respiratory rate and electro-dermal activity
(sweatiness).

MacGyver’s lie detector tests only two of these


factors: blood pressure and electro-dermal activ-
136 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

ity. Blood pressure is easy to test but doesn’t give an


accurate representation of whether or not the subject
is telling the truth in part because blood pressure can
change for many reasons. The second, and more
interesting element, of Mac’s lie detector is the alarm
clock. When the person sweats, the electrolytes in his
or her sweat allows electricity to readily pass between
the two copper wires (copper is an excellent conduc-
tor of electricity) and complete an electrical circuit,
which triggers the clock’s alarm.

Would It Really Work?

In theory, perhaps. Lie detectors are typically not


considered reliable enough to be admitted as evidence
in a court case, and that’s when the test is adminis-
tered by an expert. This homemade lie detector tests
the same factors (blood pressure and electro-dermal
activity) as a fancy lie detector but with even less ac-
curacy. Of course, if you really want to know if your
girlfriend slept with your brother, this may just do the
trick.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 137

How to Make a Fake Blood Trail


As Seen in Episode: 066 - Blood Brothers. Back in his
home town, MacGyver finds past and present overlapping
as he remembers a fatal shooting accident from his youth
while trying to stop his old friend’s son from using a gun to
defend himself against drug-dealing hoodlums.

What You Need

Drain cleaner
Phenolphthalein solution

WARNING: Drainer cleaner is a toxic chemical and


great care should be used in its handling.

What You Do

1. Mix the drain cleaner and the phenolphthalein


solution. They should combine to form a dark red,
blood-like color.

2. Dribble the fake blood in little spots.


138 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

3. Be sure to make the trail end at a closet, bank safe,


or industrial freezer.

4. Hide nearby and wait for thug to appear.

5. When the thug looks into the closet, bank safe, or


industrial freezer, kick him in the back. This will
send the thug sprawling into the closet, bank safe,
or industrial freezer.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 139

6. Shut the door behind him.

7. Order some pizza.

Why It Works

Phenolphthalein is a chemical used to test acid/base


levels of liquid chemical solutions. By placing a
few drops into a very basic, or alkaline substance, it
will turn bright pink. The more alkaline present in a
solution means the more the phenolphthalein will react
and change color.

Drain cleaner contains sodium hydroxide, also known


as caustic lye, a highly alkaline substance. Because
of the high alkaline level present in the drain cleaner,
the phenolphthalein turns a very dark pink, or reddish
color.

Would It Really Work?

Only if the drain cleaner contains an extremely strong


alkaline. Otherwise, the only person who the killer
will think is bleeding is Bozo the Clown because the
“blood” will be fluorescent pink.
140 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

Make a Soda Machine Shoot Cans


of Soda
As Seen in Episode: 103 - Rush to Judgment. As a juror
in a racially charged murder trial, MacGyver can’t resist
digging up more facts on his own, thereby courting the
wrath of the judge.

What You Need

Half a cup of salt


Two-liter bottle of lukewarm water
A newspaper
An evil soda machine

What You Do

1. Pour salt into water bottle.

2. Shake bottle, mixing the salt and water


thoroughly.

3. Roll up the newspaper into a funnel.


Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 141

4. Use the newspaper funnel to pour the salt-


water solution into the coin slot of the evil soda
machine.

5. Stand back as the soda cans come rolling out.

6. Enjoy your free, if slightly shaken, sodas.


142 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

Why It Works

Inside the soda machine is an electric switch that


controls the release of soda cans. The combination of
salt and water create a mild electric charge. When the
salt and water is poured through the coin slot it washes
over the electric switch controlling the release of the
cans. The salt-water solution creates what chemists
call a salt-bridge of which an electric current passes
readily through, causing the machine to short-circuit
itself. This in effect, trips the electric switch, and as a
result the machine spits out soda cans.

Before getting too excited about a free sugar high,


keep in mind that this trick only works on older soda
machines. Nearly every soda machine in the United
States has been replaced with newer models on which
this trick will not work. But, oh, those Guatemalan
soda machines are just waiting for your electrochemical
shenanigans.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 143

How to Turn Out the Lights with


Formula 409
As Seen in Episode: 64 – Obsessed. Recurring nightmares
about Murdoc make MacGyver sleepless and on edge as
he provides security at the criminal trial of a deposed
dictator.

What You Need

A light fixture with a standard light bulb


Formula 409
Gun-toting thugs

What You Do

1. Wait until the thugs are underneath the lightbulb.

2. Brandish Formula 409 bottle in a threatening


manner.

3. As the thugs are paralyzed with laughter at your


ridiculous ploy, spray Formula 409 on the light
bulb. Use liberally.
144 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

4. Watch as the imploding light bulb drives tiny shards


of glass into the faces of the thugs.

5. Run past blinded thugs.

6. Rest.

7. Run some more.


Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 145

8. Have a beer and laugh about the dumb thugs and


their plastic surgery bill.

Why It Works

Most lightbulbs are made of soda-lime glass. The


Formula 409 window cleaner contains the chemical
sodium hydroxide (NaOH) a corrosive chemical that
reacts with the glass on the lightbulb. Because the glass
in a light bulb is extremely thin, the NaOH eats through
the glass very quickly. Then, because the inside of a
light bulb is a vacuum (the complete absence of air)
the outside air instantly rushes in to fill the vacuum,
causing it to implode, the glass to shatter, and fall on
the thugs.
146 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

How to Create a Magnet with an


Iron Bar and a Fire Hydrant
As Seen in Episode: 011- Nightmares. MacGyver escapes
from foreign agents after being injected with a hallucinogen
that will kill him in six hours if he can’t get the antidote.

What You Need

An iron bar
A hydrant
A compass

What You Do

1. Locate true north on a compass.

2. Hold the iron bar so that one end points towards the
North Pole and the other end points to the South Pole.

3. Strike the iron bar repeatedly on the hydrant.

4. Impress your friends by using the iron bar to pick


up paperclips.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 147

Why It Works

First of all, this trick doesn’t work if you use babies or


small animals. They just cry if you smack them on a
hydrant. You have to use iron. An iron bar consists of
billions of individual atoms, each of which has magnetic
properties. These atoms get together in groups called
domains. These domains all have their own polarity,
which means all the atoms in the domain point the same
way. Now all these domains would love to line up with
the magnetic field of the earth (i.e. point north) but they
can’t because they’re stuck. By smacking the iron bar
onto the hydrant you allowing they domains to move
around and align themselves with the earth’s magnetic
field. If enough of the domains align properly then
the entire iron bar takes on the domains’ alignment and
becomes magnetic as well.
148 Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions

How to Escape from a Boring


Dinner Party
As Seen in Episode: 108 – Twenty Questions. MacGyver
tries to help a teenage friend with a drinking problem
that’s already led to her involvement in a string of
burglaries.

What You Need

A boring dinner party


A desk lamp
A small figurine
A table
A dressing screen

What You Do

1. Go to a boring dinner party.

2. Tell your host that you’re feeling a bit self-


conscious about your appearance and you want
to stand behind the conveniently located dressing
screen in the corner.
Chapter 5: Party Tricks and Diversions 149

3. Drag a small table behind the screen.

4. Place the figurine on the table.

5. Place the desk lamp behind the figurine.

6. Turn on the light.

7. Adjust the lamp so the shadow of the figurine falls


on the dressing screen.

8. Chuckle as the rest of the guest think that it’s your


shadow on the screen.

9. Sneak off with a cute waiter or waitress and hope


that no one asks you a question.

Why It Works

It’s a pretty straightforward illusion. The closer an


object is to a light source, the larger its shadow will
appear, thus something tiny can appear very large
when placed close enough to the light source. Guys,
we know what you’re thinking and all we can say is
hot light bulbs leave scars. Be careful.
Top Five Ways to Take Out Thugs

1. A fire hose (058 THE ODD TRIPLE,


062 ROCK THE CRADLE, 097 LOG JAM)
2. A fire hose threaded through a ladder
(105 TOUGH BOYS)
3. A fire hose threaded through scaffolding
(127 THE HOOD)
4. A fire hose attached to a car axle
(077 RUNNERS)
5. Love, understanding and a fire hose
Bombs and Boobytraps
152 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

Create a Timebomb with a Glass of


Water, a Cold Capsule, and Sodium
Metal

As Seen in Episode: 001 – Pilot. MacGyver is tasked to


rescue scientists trapped in an underground lab protected
by a deadly security system.

What You Need

A metal or plastic container of water.


A gelatin cold capsule (choose one that you
can open and close by hand)
Some sodium metal.

SAFETY NOTE 1: DO NOT use a glass container. It


will shatter when the capsule explodes. Little shards
of glass will rocket through the air, causing injury to
yourself or others.

SAFETY NOTE 2: DO NOT handle sodium metal


with bare hands. Sodium metal will react to the
moisture in your skin causing severe burns. DO NOT
allow the sodium metal to come in contact with your
skin.
Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 153

What You Do

1. Open the cold capsule by gently twisting the gel-


based capsule apart.

2. Empty out contents of the cold capsule.

3. Take small pieces of sodium metal (again, use


tongs or wear gloves) and place them inside the
cold capsule.

4. Close the capsule by screwing the narrower section


into the larger section.
154 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

5. Drop capsule into the container of water. BE


CAREFUL. If the capsule was not completely
sealed, then the capsule will explode as soon as the
water hits the sodium metal.

6. Hide behind some crates or a file cabinet. After


a short time (5-10 minutes) the cold capsule will
dissolve in the water. At this point the sodium
metal will become exposed to the water.

7. BAM! When the sodium reacts to the water, it will


explode, creating an intense hot orange flame.
Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 155

Why It Works

Sodium (Na) is a metal that forms a corrosive liquid


when it comes in contact with water. Once the gelatin-
based capsule dissolves, the sodium metal reacts rapidly
with the water to form a colorless solution of sodium
hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen gas (H2). The reaction
is exothermic, meaning that heat is released during the
reaction. In fact, the sodium metal may well become
so hot that it catches fire and burns with a characteristic
orange color. If only bad guys appreciated reaction
chemistry like we do.
156 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

How to Make Pinecone


Landmines
As Seen in Episode: 010 - Target: MacGyver. While
visiting his estranged grandfather in Colorado, MacGyver
is tracked and hunted down by a contract killer.

What You Need

Pinecones
Pine pitch (sticky resin contained inside the
pinecones)
A lighter
A sack

WARNING: Remember, when working with


explosive materials, even ones like pine pitch, one
should be extremely careful.

What You Do

1. Fill the sack with pinecones.

2. Spread the pine pitch on the top of the sack.


Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 157

3. Bury the sack but leave the top of the sack


exposed.

4. Wait until the thugs drive by in their jeep.

5. Light a pinecone and toss it in front of the jeep.


In surprise, the thugs will stop the jeep. Luckily,
this will happen directly over your landmine/bag of
pine pitch.

6. Toss another flaming pinecone under the jeep.


It will ignite the pine pitch and cause the bag of
pinecones to explode.
158 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

Why It Works

As anyone who has spent any time getting a PhD


in forestry knows, pine pitch can be awfully darn
flammable. In fact, pine trees have been known
to explode during forest fires. The trees’ pine pitch
combusts when the forest fire causes the ambient
temperature to reach a certain degree. Scientists
aren’t certain but they think this is the way some trees
reproduce. Kinky.
Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 159

Would It Really Work?

Sure, with enough pinecones and pine pitch from the


right trees, you may get a small explosion. However,
this would not be enough to blow up a jeep. A Pinto
perhaps, but not a jeep.
160 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

Fend Off Thugs with a Firehose


As Seen in Episode: 097 - Log Jam. MacGyver tries
to help an environmentally active friend find out what
happened to a company whistle-blower about to expose the
illegal practices of a large logging firm.

What You Need

A sawmill with a readily accessible firehose


A thug

What You Do

1. Aim firehose at thug.

2. Turn on firehose.

3. Grit teeth.

4. Hope thugs are allergic to water. Author’s Note:


You’re playing the odds here. While approximately
thirty people in the world are allergic to water
(it’s true!), we’re not sure how many of them are
thugs.
Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 161

5. Drop hose and run.

Why It Works

A firehose can expel water at up to 75 PSI (pounds


per square inch)—enough force to knock over a man.
That’s pretty powerful, but it pales in comparison to
Ivan Drago, Rocky’s opponent in Rocky IV. A punch
from the ‘Russian Concussion’ was registered at 1850
PSI. A more typical (non movie) heavy weight punch
is a still respectable 180 PSI. No information on the
PSI of the body blows that Stallone undoubtedly gave
his agent for greenlighting Rocky V.
162 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

How to Make Your Kitchen into a


Deathtrap
As Seen in Episode: 010 - Target: Macgyver. While
visiting his estranged grandfather in Colorado, MacGyver
is tracked and hunted down by a contract killer.

What You Need

A toaster oven
Some pans
Cooking oil
A bag of ice
A group of thugs

What You Do

1. Stack the pans on the bag of ice as shown in the


picture.

2. Place a toaster oven behind the stack. Turn it on.


Be sure to leave the oven door open.

3. Pour cooking oil all over the floor.


Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 163

4. Sneak out the back door.

5. Wait. Once the ice begins to melt, the pans will


crash to the ground. The thugs in the adjacent
room will rush in to investigate. The fools! They
will slip on the cooking oil and take a nasty fall.
164 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

Why It Works

Well, it’s a pretty obvious, if unlikely, scenario. The


heat from the toaster oven melts the ice. The pans
hitting floor cause the thugs to wonder, “what is going
on in there?” and come investigate. The thugs slip on
the oil and fall on the floor, knocking themselves out.

What? Not enough death for you. Fine. Maybe they fell
and couldn’t get up? Did you think of that? You can’t
expect every thug to be a young, virile guy, can you?
There must have been some crippled senior citizens on
Murdoc’s payroll. Okay, maybe deathtrap is too strong
a word. How about oily, bruised butt trap?
Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps 165

How to Disarm a Missile with a


Paperclip
As Seen in Episode: 001 – Pilot. MacGyver is tasked
to rescue scientists trapped in an underground lab
protected by a deadly security system.

What You Need

A missile, preferably with a nuclear warhead


A paperclip

What You Do

1. Open the missile’s access panel. Usually, it is


clearly labeled.

2. Straighten the paperclip into a long thin wire.

3. Jam the paperclip deep into the electronic innards


of the missile.
4. Wriggle paperclip around.

5. Breathe a sigh of relief as the green LED indicating


ACTIVATED changes to the red LED indicating
DISACTIVATED.
166 Chapter 6: Bombs and Booby-traps

6. Use the same paperclip to enter the lottery, because


clearly it has magical powers.

Why It Works

As we mentioned, Mac’s paperclip has magical


powers. Or, MAYBE the missile Mac disarmed was
the Soviet-engineered X-17 Missile, which can be
deactivated simply be interrupting the electromagnetic
field surrounding the payload core with a three inch,
thin piece of metal. Yeah, sure.
Appendix: The Complete List of
MacGyver’s Cool Tricks (a.k.a.
Macgyverisms)

Bold=covered in this book


Italic=very similar to something covered in this book

SEASON 1

001 PILOT
Used a paperclip to disarm a missile
Used a pack of matches and a rope to trigger a rifle
Smashed the barrel of a flare gun to use as a rocket
thruster to propel himself away from a cliff wall
Disarmed a laser beam alarm with a cigarette and
binoculars
Lifted a collapsed beam with a fire hose
Tested a door with a stick to see if a fire raged behind it
Stopped an acid leak with a chocolate bar
Used a shirt to filter gases
Made a time bomb with a glass of water, a cold
capsule and sodium metal
Flipped lights in Morse code

002 GOLDEN TRIANGLE


Stole a briefcase from thieves with an industrial magnet
Created a delayed fuse with a raft, a flare, and the air
pump from a self-inflating lifejacket
Created a eye-stinging smokescreen trap with bamboo,
alcohol, fire ash, and car exhaust
Attached a winch to a helicopter to keep it from flying away
Appendix

003 THIEF OF BUDAPEST


Faked a flat tire with a light bulb
Made an explosive from salt, sugar, and weed killer
Created a magnifying glass with a looped piece of hair and
white wine
Interfered with a traffic signal by inserting pieces of a credit
card into the timing mechanism
Disrupted police communication by taping a radio to a
police walkie-talkie and attaching them both to a bunch of
balloons.

004 THE GAUNTLET


Used his knife to push a key out of a lock on other side of
door onto a map
Rolled a map into a pea shooter
Fixed a hole in a hot air balloon with a map and duct tape
Bypassed barbed wire with a camera bag strap
Created a time bomb using a camera timer and plastic
explosive
Created a diversion by taping fireworks to a church bell
Stopped a car by hooking a cable to the axle
Made a car drive itself with a belt

005 HEIST
Undressed a women using a string and a paperclip
Created buffed dice with powdered soap and a shoe
shine machine
Tied a door shut with an electrical cord
Send a bar cart flying at thugs by breaking the seals on its
CO2 tanks
Hid a magnet from a phone receiver in a shoe to
manipulate a roulette wheel
Appendix

Picked a lock with his knife


Created a automatic timer by wiring a fuse box to the
hands of a clock
Bypassed a security camera with a mirror and coat hanger
Bypassed a laser alarm with ashes and a fiber-optic cable
Replicated musical tones with wine and wineglasses
Parachuted out of a plane in a car

006 TRUMBO’S WORLD


Provided hot water by moving a shower pipe onto a fire
Lost pursuers by soaking a rope in kerosene and lighting it
after rappelling down a cliff with it
Created an arc welder with jumper cables and two
quarters
Devised a torque-based pulley with an overhead beam, a
rope, and a post
Created a flamethrower with a hose, a pump, a tank of
gasoline, and a metal pipe
Made nitromannite explosive with nitrate from fertilizer,
cellulose from plant bark, and nitric acid (note: sounds
more like nitrocellulose)
Created a ant-repellent suit by melting a rubber hose onto
mosquito netting

007 LAST STAND


Created a blowtorch using a magnesium bike frame, rust
and a flare
Made a bomb out of cotton, newspaper, starter fluid (ether)
and fertilizer (soaked it with olive oil)
Escaped from a meat locker with cardboard and a light
bulb
Appendix

008 HELLFIRE
Bridged a fuse with a gum wrapper
Build a cradle for unstable dynamite with old wagon
springs, a board, and some sand
Replaced broken linkage spring on a truck with the spring
from a ballpoint pen
Made a track for a broken-down jeep (tires missing) with
pipes

009 PRODIGAL
Hot-wired car with a paperclip
Picked car trunk lock with knife
Created a diversion with a saw, lumber, sawdust, and a
vacuum
Made a smokescreen with soda, Fizz Whizz and dry ice
Picked lock with knife
Created a tripwire with a tube and some rope
Created a harpoon launcher and zip line using a telescope,
camphor balls, cleaning fluid, cloth, a rod, electrical wire
and a pulley

010 TARGET MACGYVER


Picked a lock with knife
Booby-trapped a kitchen
Used a hose to trip thugs
Created a decoy with reeds and log bark
Made a blowgun with hollow reeds and a poison plant
Made a decoy using a stuffed jacket
Made pinecone landmines
Mixed iron sulfide with clay to created antibiotic
Created a booby-trap with grain dust, a funnel, and drapes
controlled from a distance with a fishing line
Appendix

Distracted thugs with exploding pine nuts


Created a booby-trap with a sawed-through support beam

011 NIGHTMARES
Made a fishing lure with a gum wrapper
Made a slingshot booby-trap with a metal cot and
bedsprings
Flooded a circuit breaker with a belt, water, and an
electrical outlet. (Used the belt as a tube to flood the outlet
in his cell, the electrical conduit carried the water to the
circuit breaker which short-circuited)
Booby-trapped a door with a car battery, a television tube,
and jumper cables, a radio and two chairs
Surprised a thug by creating a leak in a tire, then when the
thug bend down to kick in out, MacGyver kicked the car
door into the thug’s face (MacGyver had been hiding in the
back seat)
Made a booby-trap with a rope, water jugs, boards, barrel,
and a smoke alarm
Made magnet by hitting iron bar on a fire hydrant

012 DEATHLOCK
Jammed TV signals with a metal bowl and juicer
Made a motor with batteries, wires, a mixer, and some
rubber bands
Made a decoy with a suit of armor, a kitchen cart and the
homemade motor
Created a smokescreen with vinegar and baking soda
Put duct pipe around so he could hear the thugs approach
Used a mirror as a periscope
Shot water from a pressurized tank to knock over thug
Appendix

013 FLAME’S END


Used a pistol as a wrench

014 COUNTDOWN
Made a rappelling line from a cargo net
Defused a bomb with a neon tube, a cork, milk, oven
cleaner and a pastry tube

015 THE ENEMY WITHIN


Repaired a bust brakeline when the car was moving
Made nylon from adipic acid, hexmethylene diamene, iron,
and a magnetic current
Made a defibrillator with candle holders, microphone cords
and rubber from a carpet

016 EVERY TIME SHE SMILES


Escaped from a locked room at the airport using a coat
rack, a wire hanger, a chair, and a baggage carousel
Made gas from rat poison, soap flakes, and tile cleaner
(ammonia)
Made explosive with lard, a sheet of newspaper,
crystallized oven cleaner, and natural gas
Made an oil slick by combining diesel exhaust
(hydrocarbons) and water

017 TO BE A MAN
Created a hang-glider with satellite parts and a plastic
shield
Used a butane tank as torpedo
Used a fire extinguisher to expand water in a crack in a
rock to start an avalanche
Appendix

018 UGLY DUCKLING


Made noise attack with an oscillator and a speaker
Made an arc welder with jumper cables and two
quarters
Cooled Hot bars with old spray can (hydrocarbons)
Made a cactus-powered radio
Triangulated a location using two radios, a car antenna,
watch, some wire, and the Sun.
Fired a gun with a car headlight, a mirror, and a binocular
lens and the Sun

019 SLOW DEATH


Distracted a thug with a faceful of salt and seltzer
Made a lie detector from blood pressure pump and an
alarm clock

020 THE ESCAPE


Created a miniature paper-machete hot air balloon with a
soccer ball, olive oil, newspaper, and cotton balls
Emulated the sound of a helicopter with a spatula attached
to a ceiling fan
Made an explosive with PCP & “volatile liquid” on clothes
Made a timer for explosive from a metal washtub, live wire,
and ice
Created a fuse with powder from a grenade emptied onto
cement

021 A PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE


Caused a car to backfire with a potato
Jammed a pursuing boat propeller with a rope, a life jacket
and empty plastic gas containers
Appendix

Made a lockpick set with the filaments of a light bulb


Booby-trapped a bucket with caulk and hardening agent
(ammonia?)

022 THE ASSASSIN


Escaped a dreaded parking lot by putting a board over the
wheel gougers at the exit
Tripped a thug with a garden hose

SEASON 2

023 THE HUMAN FACTOR


Made a telescope with a newspaper, magnifying glass and
a watch crystal
Simulated a handprint with plaster dust
Redirected laser beam with mirror, mop bucket and a chair
Used pants to hang on pipe over boiling water
Dispatched heat-seeking robots with magnets, matches,
and paper
Destroyed computer with electricity (shocking!)

024 THE ERASER


Short-circuited a keypad combination lock
Rewired a car phone to lock car doors when a call was
received
Made a torpedo with a metal tube, a can, some rags and
some gas
Faked a death with some mirrors, red dye and rubber
cement
Emulated a police siren with foil and a comb
Appendix

025 TWICE STUNG


Broke down a door with a fire hose and an elevator
Made a blinding booby-trap with a battery, a floodlight,
matchbooks, and a knife

026 THE WISH CHILD


Burst open a crate with a M-80 firecracker lit with the Sun
and a watch crystal
Made a grappling hook from a rope and an umbrella
Blew up door lock with gunpowder and a bandana
Created a smoke screen with a fire extinguisher

027 FINAL APPROACH


Made a tent out of a parachute
Made a stethoscope from a radio headset and plastic
tubing
Made a theodilite (a surveying tool) from a branch and
earrings
Made a ski for an airplane from a hollowed log

028 JACK OF LIES


Unscrewed hot light bulb with cardboard tube
Sling-shot an oxygen cylinder at pursuing thugs
Plugged fuel leak with a stick
Recharged a battery with wine
Made a snare trap with a rope and the propeller of an
airplane

029 THE ROAD NOT TAKEN


Made an alarm system with strings from inside a baseball
and a bucket of stones
Made a fuse with animal fat, baseball string and kerosene
Appendix

Made a slingshot with tree branches and vines


Burned through twine with rosary bead and the sun
Used wire from broom as a saw
Made a rocket with bamboo, fertilizer, a can and a rag

030 EAGLES
Splinted an eagle’s wing with a broken arrow and cloth
strips
Fed bird used a pen
Blew up a shed with a propane stove, ball bearings and a
grindstone
Made a slingshot with a bicycle inner tube attached to
bicycle handlebars

031 SILENT WORLD


Made a water clock with two plastic trash bags, some
branches, and string
Booby-trapped front door with a rope snare

032 THREE FOR THE ROAD


Used a ball point pen sheath to fix a fuel line
Made a mortar with a muffler, seat stuffing, gas, and a
knob from the steering wheel
Created a diversion with a car horn, wires, a car battery, a
door and a horseshoe
Made a flower bouquet from a newspaper

033 PHOENIX UNDER SIEGE


Made an electromagnet with a battery, copper wire, and a
faucet pipe
Zapped an electric lock with static electricity
Disarmed a bomb with a hockey ticket
Appendix

034 FAMILY MATTER


Pulled down a wall with rope, a metal bar, and an engine
Made an explosive with an gas can and an oil soaked rag
Made a bomb with bamboo, swamp gas, and mud

035 SOFT TOUCH


Made a blowtorch to burst a lock with magnesium from
wheelchair casters, rags, and an iron pipe
Lassoed a thug with speaker wire

036 BIRTH DAY


Knocked out a thug with the boom mast of a sail boat after
hooking it with a fishing pole
Made a helium balloon by soaking a cloth bag and filling it
with helium
Used fishing line to knock a thug off a motorcycle

037 PIRATES
Shot polystyrene balls with vacuum cleaner
Made a hydraulic pump with a bilge pump, a boat bumper,
and an angle brace
Burst a boat hatch with a canister of compressed gas
Disarmed an anti-personnel landmine tripwire with a string
Disarmed a pressure landmine with a twig

038 OUT IN THE COLD


Escaped after being buried by an avalanche by drilling a
hole through the snow with his ski pole, then blew a mini-
parachute he made from a red handkerchief and a zipper
through the inside of his pole to signal rescuers
Read microfilm using water as magnifying lens on broken
microscope
Appendix

Electrified a fence with electricity

039 DALTON, JACK OF SPIES


Fired a stage cannon full of baby powder at thugs
Escaped from the back of a garbage truck with a long
piece of metal

040 PARTNERS
Made a car drive itself with a shoestring, a wrench, and a
paperclip
Blew up a door with shavings from an aluminum oil can
and rust from an exhaust pipe, pantyhose soaked in oil (for
fuse), and a battery

041 BUSHMASTER
Made a rifle fire itself by hanging it from a branch with a
shoelace, tying the shoelace through the trigger and then
around a rock. Then put paper next to the string and lit the
paper so the paper would burn the string and let gravity
work its magic
Used Freon to shatter a lock
Clogged a radiator leak with egg whites. Boiling water in
radiator cooks the eggs. The cooked egg fills tiny holes.

042 FRIENDS
None

043 DOA MACGYVER


Emulated a gunshot by slapping a board on concrete
Created a smokescreen with muriatic acid and
ammonia
Appendix

044 FOR LOVE OR MONEY


Made fake blood with red wine and red frosting
Made a smoke bomb booby-trap from a rubber glove,
carbon, oxygen, duct tape and a serving tray
Made an explosive from crushed nitroglycerine tablets,
alcohol, napkins, and duct tape
Booby-trapped car door by connecting it via a baling wire
to the ignition coil (20,000 volts)

SEASON 3

045, 046 LOST LOVE


Used powder cleanser to locate laser beam alarm system
Used hairpin to pick lock on handcuffs

047 BACK FROM THE DEAD


Slide down a wire with a fire hose

048 GHOST SHIP


Made oars with a forked branch and a tent bag
Extracted water from a tree root with a metal tube
Made a booby-trap with fishing line and a fishing rod

049 FIRE AND ICE


Made a rappelling line with a rake head screwed onto a
garden hose
Bypassed a keypad lock with a pencil

050 GX-1
Insulated a shirt with pine needles
Made boots from duct tape and plastic mat
Appendix

Made full-size hot air balloon from a shed, a tent, a metal


table frame, a compressor from a refrigerator and gas
cylinders

051 JACK IN THE BOX


Made acetylene from carbide and water

052 THE WIDOWMAKER


Made an arc welder from a car antenna, jumper cables,
some wire and a car battery
Climbed a telephone pole using a belt and a rope
Made a telegraph with a bracelet and a telephone cable

053 HELL WEEK


Made a smokescreen with acetic acid and ammonia

054 BLOW OUT


Made homemade tear gas using a hot water bottle,
baking soda, vinegar, and spices
Tracked a thug’s car by hanging a can of dripping yellow
paint from the chassis

055 KILL ZONE


Sealed a silicon leak with a Bunsen burner and Freon

056 EARLY RETIREMENT


Made a smokescreen with a steam hose

057 THIN ICE


Replaced a solenoid spring with a flashlight spring
Appendix

058 THE ODD TRIPLE


Repelled thugs with a fire hose
Loosened rope tied around his hands with wine
Broke through a wall with nitrogen canisters and a wheeled
wine cask

059 THE NEGOTIATOR


Used a fire extinguisher to spray the windshield of a
pursuing car
Made a booby-trap with jumper cables and a puddle of
anti-freeze

060 THE SPOILERS


Made a smokescreen with benzene and chlorine

061 MASK OF THE WOLF


Created a explosive to open a tomb door with finely ground
copper and zinc lit by a hemp belt soaked in oil

062 ROCK THE CRADLE


Fixed a plane’s hydraulic landing gear while in midair with
a canister of compressed air
Built a baby rocking crib with hockey sticks, rope, netting,
and pillows
Used fire hose on thugs

063 THE ENDANGERED


Removed distributor cap from thug’s car
Made a booby-trap with a forked branch, fishing line, and a
tranquilizer dart
Signaled a helicopter with logs coated with limonite
Appendix

Created a diversion with a coat, string, matches, and a


branch
Fired a tranquilizer dart with a flashlight barrel and elastic
cord from a coat

064 MURDERER’S SKY


Created sonar to find a secret passage with stereo
speakers and a power cable
Knocked out lights with window cleaner
Made paper-machete walls to hide behind with paper, duct
tape and mud

SEASON 4

065 THE SECRET OF THE PARKER HOUSE


Recreated a face from a skull with pencil erasers and clay
Discovered a secret door with a lit candle to detect a draft
Torpedoed a wall with a pipe and a pressure steamer

066 BLOOD BROTHERS


Made a cart from a bicycle
Made fake blood with drain cleaner and
phenolphthalein solution

067 THE OUTSIDERS


Used barrels to support a tunnel

068 ON A WING AND A PRAYER


Created a diversion by throwing a lantern at some crates
Patched a hole in a plane with lifejacket material
Sling-shot a plane with a rope so it could take-off on a
short runway
Appendix

069 COLLISION COURSE


Made a new gasket for a car
Tested for chlorine in water with silver nitrate

070 THE SURVIVORS


Slid between rock walls with a climber’s pick and ropes
Made a decoy by stuffing a coat

071 DEADLY DREAMS


Used motor oil to see through a frosted window
Soaked matches with water to keep them from exploding

072 MA DALTON
Used a lug wrench to disconnect himself from a car

073 CLEO ROCKS


Tested sulfur with a spoon and a torch
Stunned Murdoc with an electric cord

074 FRATERNITY OF THIEVES


Used sodium thiosulfate and water as an antidote to
prussic acid poisoning
Rewired helipad signal lights

075 THE BATTLE OF TOMMY GIORDANO


Hot-wired phone for listening to calls in next room
Stopped a car from starting by putting a sock over the
tailpipe
Used telephone wire to bolt door shut
Created a smokescreen with alcohol, ammonia, and
hydrochloric acid
Appendix

076 THE CHALLENGE


Tested ink print with alcohol

077 RUNNERS
Tied a car to a garbage dumpster with a hose

078 GOLD RUSH


Created amplifier for an old Dictaphone with a pin and a
rolled up map
Blew away snow with vodka, string, and oxygen
Disarmed a landmine with a backpack frame
Used a cargo plane door as a sled

079 THE INVISIBLE KILLER


Used a slingshot to attack thugs with leaves and dirt
Used a telescope to shoot vinegar and pepper
Created a snare trap with a rope and pulley

080 BRAINWASHED
None

081 EASY TARGET


Replaced a grenade pin with a lift ticket wire
Blew open a door with explosive from the grenade
Rewired walkie-talkies for distraction
Short-circuited an electro-magnet

082 RENEGADE
Bypassed motion detector with a light bulb

083 UNFINISHED BUSINESS


None
Appendix

SEASON 5

084, 085 LEGEND OF THE HOLY ROSE I & II


Built a two seat airplane
Escaped from deadly pendulum using his shoes
Used a flag to climb the castle wall
Used bellows as a pea shooter

086 THE BLACK CORSAGE


Cut ropes binding his hands on fish teeth
Distracted thugs with a Merry Go Round
Picked a lock with knife
Booby-trapped jewelry with a cord

087 CEASE FIRE


Made an arc welder with a wire, battery, and jumper
cables

088 SECOND CHANCE


Shot a syringe through rolled up paper
Blew up a gate lock

089 HALLOWEEN KNIGHTS


Bypassed fingerprint reader with pool chalk and
candle wax
Bypassed rifle/motion detector booby-trap with apples,
cabbage, garbage can lid, and tent cloth
Repelled snakes with kerosene

090 CHILDREN OF LIGHT


Broke down a door with a vise forcing a thick pipe through
the door
Used a metal pole to slide down a rope
Appendix

091 BLACK RHINO


None

092 THE TEN PERCENT SOLUTION


Broke through a metal door using a tube, an earring, and a
light bulb

093 TWO TIMES TROUBLE


Used a camera lens as a magnifying glass
Captured a fingerprint with tempura paint and tape
Escaped from a straitjacket while underwater

094 THE MADONNA


Used barbells to roll stage

095 SERENITY
None

096 LIVE & LEARN


Read burned paper with glycerol and water

097 LOG JAM


Used fire hose on thug

098 THE TREASURE OF MANCO


None

099 JENNY’S CHANCE


Created a high-frequency noise with a wire and a
microchip
Appendix

100 DEEP COVER


Opened a submarine cover with a flare, oxygen and wire
Pinned thugs with a raft
Stopped boat by hooking it to the dock

101 THE LOST AMADEUS


Opened lock with a hairpin
Activated fire extinguisher by putting a lit kerosene lamp in
the trash
Cut rope binding him against a scroll saw blade

102 HEARTS OF STEEL


Lifted a car with an electro-magnet

103 RUSH TO JUDGEMENT


Picked a lock with his knife
Made a soft drink dispenser shoot cans for distraction
Pushed a cart to knock bag lady down
Escaped from a pack of dogs using perfume and a
mannequin

104 PASSAGES
Opened a door with a fire hose and a boat axle
Used baby powder to leave a message for Pete

SEASON 6

105 TOUGH BOYS


Picked a lock with his knife
Attempted to disarm a bomb with a lasso made from
wire and an electrical cord while trapped in a net (Lucky
MacGyver. The bomb was fake)
Appendix

Escaped a locked garage by making a hook with two paint


can handles and a lawn mower pull string then threaded it
over the door to the other side
Knocked out a thug on a balcony with a fire hose
strung through a ladder

106 HUMANITY
Cracked a safe with a telephone
Tried to pick a lock with the wire mesh protecting a lamp
Made a flare gun with a muffler, a stick, gasoline, and
some cloth

107 THE GUN


Blew open a truck door with plastic explosive, a battery,
and copper wire

108 TWENTY QUESTIONS


Created a shadow decoy with a lamp, a small figurine,
a table, and a dressing screen

109 THE WALL


Detected a laser beam from a hidden listening post with
the smoke from a flare
Loosened ropes binding his hands with slimy goo
from a toy store shelf

110 LESSON IN EVIL


None

111 HARRY’S WILL


Used knife to pick lock
Lifted a car with an inner tube
Appendix

112 MACGYVER’S WOMEN


Used belt hook to untie ropes
Used a horse to demolish a building
Emulated gunshots with pinecones, alcohol, and a stove

113 BITTER HARVEST


Made a spectroscope with sunglasses, a lamp, and
nail polish remover
Escaped tank filling with poisonous gas by kicking off the
lowest rung on a metal ladder, breathing through the hole
where the rung had been attached, then cut rope binding
his hand on the sharp edge where the rung had been.
Squirted wine from tank at a thug

114 THE VISITOR


Picked lock with knife
Faked a UFO landing with salt, fertilizer, and uranium

115 SQUEEZE PLAY


Figured out a thug’s phone number by recording it and
playing it back

116 JERICO GAMES


Unlocked handcuffs with the pin on a badge
Escaped an incinerator with a metal rod

117 THE WASTELAND


Made a paraglider with a backpack, a wind tunnel
propeller, wire, and a nylon tent.
Appendix

118 EYE OF OSIRIS


Used a mixture of sugar and water to harden a impression
left in the sand so that a plastic mold could be made of the
impression

119 HIGH CONTROL


Used broken glass to cut ropes
Sprayed ether with a window cleaner bottle to knock out a
thug
Blew up a van with a homemade explosive (ingredients
neither shown nor mentioned), a CO2 canister and a
motorcycle

120 THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE


Made a booby-trap by filling a rubber glove with gas,
setting a light bulb next to the glove, and then threw a lump
of clay to break the light bulb. The light bulb explodes,
opening the gas and igniting the gas.

121 BLIND FAITH


Shot rocks with a steam pressure hose
Cut ropes with a metal grinder
Jammed a door with a crowbar
Booby-trapped a door with an electrical generator

122 FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY


Made a crutch from a hat rack
Cut ropes binding him with a saw
Made a wheelchair from a baby carriage
Booby-trapped a staircase by sawing through its wooden
supports
Appendix

Disabled a thug with a mop and cayenne pepper


Tripped a thug by pulling a stair runner
Squirted chili at a thug with a vacuum cleaner

123 STRICTLY BUSINESS


Escaped a trap by soldering tripwires to a rifle using the
contents of a shotgun shell (flatten the buckshot and
heated it with gunpowder).

124 TRAIL OF TEARS


Broke through a door with a T-bar and an air pressure
release tube
Used a feather as a cotter pin to stop a bomb

125 HIND-SIGHT
None

SEASON 7

126 HONEST ABE


Accessed the computer of a special helicopter with a
flashlight
Blew up a door with alcohol and a fuse made from candle
wax and cloth
Signaled a helicopter to fire its weapons with a razor and a
mirror

127 THE HOOD


Escaped a torturer’s rack with a stake and a skeleton hand
Enhanced printing on burned matchbook with candle wax
(Mac’s explanation: the wax holds the ashes together, the
ink had a metallic substance that wouldn’t burn.)
Appendix

Knocked an assassin off his scaffolding by threading


a fire hose through it and attaching the fire hose to an
elevator

128 OBSESSED
Escaped from a missile launch pad using his boots and
liquid nitrogen
Created a diversion with window cleaner and a light
bulb

129 THE PROMETHEUS SYNDROME


Disarmed a bomb with a pin and a magnet

130 THE COLTONS


Escaped being blown up by a bomb while being tied to
a chair with a ruler, a cardboard tube, sulfuric acid and
a dog. (Most absurd escape ever!)

131 WALKING DEAD


Escaped from a coffin in the back of a truck using a rope
and a bumpy road
Booby-trapped a tunnel with a brick, barrels, and some
wire

132,133 GOOD KNIGHT MACGYVER I & II


Made an antidote with egg whites and charcoal
Created an electrophoresis to isolate vanadium (a poison)
with alcohol, wire, a candle, a zinc pot, a copper pot, and
glass tubes.
Made a fire extinguisher with baking soda, vinegar and
a wine bag
Appendix

Escaped a firepit with the corkscrew on his knife


Made a dog whistle with a copper tube and a piece of
paper
Made gooey lettering readable by burning it with
gunpowder
Shined a silver barrette with ammonia to make a mirror
Escaped a dungeon with a homemade kite (silk, quills,
clothe strips), gunpowder, a wine bag inflated with
hydrogen produced from a combination of vitriol and zinc

134 DEADLY SILENTS


Survived a 100 foot drop by poking his knife through
a wallet and then insert the knife into a curtain and
allowing the resistance to slow his descent
Escaped a water tank by using his shoe and a hose to
hook a rope ladder outside the tank
Blew-out truck tires with a board full of upturned nails
Used a fake movie building front to stop thugs

135 SPLIT DECISION


Made boxing training devices with automotive repair
equipment
Made a chill bag with sodium thiosulfate (a chemical
fixer for photos) and water
Attacked thugs with construction crane

136 GUNZ ‘N BOYS


Broke into shipping office by tearing off air
conditioner
Blew open a door with a beer keg torpedo.
Picked the lock on handcuffs with the wire that
surrounding the cork of a champagne bottle.
Appendix

137 OFF THE WALL


Melted the plastic tie-wraps binding his hands by pulling a
heating element out of a space heater with a coat hanger
and then turning on the space heater
Blew-up car by throwing a bomb down a construction
chute into the path of a moving car

138 THE STRINGER


Escaped a cargo hold using a high pressure washer, 3000
PSI of water pressure, a steering wheel, and seat belts to
make a water jet pack.
Created a smokescreen by lighting the powder inside a
flare.

139 THE MOUNTAIN OF YOUTH


Escaped from a jail with an electric door with a scarf, a test
tube, and access to the electric control box conveniently
located inside the cell.
Used a ladder as a battering ram

140 LOST TREASURE OF ATLANTIS


Blew open a lock with butane
Picked handcuff lock with the firing pin of a gun
Blew off a door with a car, booster rockets, and a box of
grenades
Used knife to start a plane

141 TRAIL TO DOOMSDAY


Made a gas mask from a wet rag coated with charcoal
Used belt as a pole grip to climb pole
Blocked door with screwdriver